Porquoi? Because I have "what's new, pussycat?" rattling around in my noggin this evening. No other reason.
It's been somewhat busy here though you wouldn't know it based on the number of things I've actually finished. It seems as though I've got multiple projects going at once, which is good or bad depending on how you look at it. It's good because it could mean that I've got more ideas than time... or it could mean that I'm not very focused right now and I'm flitting from one thing to another.
It's probably a little bit of both, though it may also the result of needing to add a couple of pieces of fabric to a quilt and not having the time to head to the other side of town to the quilt shop that might have what I'm looking for.
This is one of the things I've been working on -- a new quilt for Spring Market. But "old" fabric -- Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet. I have had it in my stash for forever and when I was trying to think of what to use for this quilt, this kept popping into my head. I finally decided that it must be a sign of some kind.
I put it together with the polka dot from Strawberry Field because I wanted something a little "bouncier". We'll see how that turns out when it's done. So far, I have a lot of this to show for it...
My little "scrap bowl"... an idea borrowed from Rachel Ray and her "garbage bowl". I save these scraps to donate to groups who use them to stuff dog/cat beds, or for other purposes. I use the bowl -- which is then emptied into a big clear plastic bag -- so that the scraps are kept separate from thread-tails and such as those can be dangerous to dogs and cats.
Of course, I also save them like this for a little while because I just like the way they look. What is up with that? I know I'm not alone there.
I've also been cooking, particularly trying a few new recipes.
Penne Pasta Quattro Formaggi with Butternut Squash and Sage -- by chef Mitchell Rosenthal. The recipe is in his new cookbook, Cooking My Way Back Home, though I found it in the latest issue of House Beautiful magazine. (The recipe isn't up on the website yet though it should be soon. For now, it is just in the magazine and the cookbook. The picture above is from the magazine.)
Basically, mac' and four cheeses with the squash mixed in. It was very good but I have to tell you that it was also pretty rich. Meaning, as good as it was, it isn't likely that I would make this again as there are mac' and cheese recipes that I like just as much, or more.
The dish I made that I really loved is from David Lebovitz -- Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemons.
Israeli couscous is pearled couscous, meaning that the little grain-things are a little larger and they're round. Like little teeny pasta. The dish has terrific mix of textures and flavors, and sweet mixed with salty and tart. It also has a Middle-Eastern flavor with the cinnamon and raisins. (Picture from David Lebovitz.com.)
And yes, I love butternut squash. I might have to make this again this weekend as I still have two lemons left in the jar.
I also remembered to take a few pictures of some of the other things I do for storage and organizing in my workroom. I wish I could show you pictures of really cute storage tins and containers but no matter how much I might wish otherwise, I just don't have the "cute gene". (I have The Container Store gene... and the Pottery Barn gene.)
I got the baskets just below the red boxes at Pier One more than 10 years ago -- at least. The baskets on the shelves on the right side of the picture are from Target, also several years old. Since neither of those are still available, my current "new" favorites are the Marche baskets from The Container Store. The small size -- 13" x 9" x 5-1/2" h -- is what I have been using, it is just a skosh bigger than the Pier One baskets on the shelf above.
The red boxes are just CD storage boxes, also from The Container Store. I like them because they come with label holders, and the size is terrific for threads, buttons, ribbons/trim, etc. The cream and black boxes are perfume boxes that I re-purposed when I realized that as much as I loved and coveted the beautiful vintage-looking storage boxes from Sajou in France, they were going to cost me at least 25.00 each... and there weren't any guarantees that I could get them home in one piece.
These are the Sajou boxes -- they're even prettier in person. The irony is that this must have been the reason I had been saving the cream boxes for years -- besides their being too nice and too pretty to just throw away. Now I'm thinking I need more of them as they are perfect for some of the little doo-dahs I seem to save.
Speaking of JoAnn's -- have you seen this little book?
It's very cute. If you like small blocks, this is a nice little block book. It is divided into ten chapters and each chapter has at least 10 blocks that all finish at the same size. The blocks in seven of the chapters finish at 5" x 5", and the blocks in the other three chapters finish at 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", 4" x 4" and 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". The blocks in each chapter are made using a single collection but there is a real mix to the styles and colors of the different collections. It's the sort of book that, given a layer cake and a few hours of time, a girl could have a lot of fun making a cute little sampler quilt. And, yes, there are lots of ideas in the book about little projects, possible layouts, etc. If you're interested, the book can be found at Amazon.com for roughly the same price I paid at JoAnn's with my coupon. (If you go looking for it in the store, it's over with the books by the sewing machines.)
That's all for today.
I'm off to finish something.